Since the Saab was sold in April 2010, we have been a one-car couple. But no longer.
Our desire to have a sports car has lead to a purchase. While an E46 M3, or a Nissan 350Z would have been the sensible choice, we ended up buying a 2002 TVR Tamora from TrackVRoad. A Pistonheads thread on the car buying is here, and the thread following purchase is here.
We settled on the Tamora as it satisfied the RWD and sporty criteria, has sufficient power (350 bhp) and sufficient space for some luggage. It also has the benefit of very light weight (1060 kg), giving a power to weight ratio of 330 bhp / tonne, which puts it in prestigious company.
Autocar tested the Tamora and recorded 0-60mph of 4.2s, 0-100 mpg of 9.1s, and a 1/4 mile in 12.5s at 119mph. That is fast enough for me.
We saw 3 Tamoras before buying this one. It appeared to be a good price, is in very good condition, and being sold by a reputable TVR specialist. It has 13,500 miles, and a good service history. There are a few examples where it goes 2 years between services, but with very few miles covered in that time. The previous owner has spent over £5000 on the last 2 services, so the car is in good shape. The fact that it is a 2002 Tamora, so has the more fragile engines is a concern, but it has been well looked-after, and none of the engines are guaranteed to last unless they have a rebuild with guarantee from one of the specialists.
The car is fairly easy to drive. There is an adjustable racing pedal box which feels different to normal cars. The throttle is responsive, but the real power comes at high revs, so when driving normally it is fairly easy. The clutch is light, but the brake pedal is firm and has very little travel, it is solid, and the harder you push, the harder the brakes are applied.
The steering is precise and fast, but the car feels stable. The suspension is all-new Gaz Gold Pro coilovers with adjustable damping set to the factory settings. Ride height at the front splitter seems to be 10cm / 4 inches, which doesn’t give much clearance. Wheels are 18″ and shod in Toyo Proces T1-S. 225/35/18 on the front and 235/40/18 on the rear.
The exterior is in lovely condition. The interior is ok, but the Bison leather is a little worn.
The standard back box has been replaced with a JP Sports exhuast supplied by ACT. This is quite loud, and the pops/bangs on the over-run are noticable. I found it a bit too loud on the long drive home from collection – motorway driving at 70mph was not fun. I am quite tempted to swap back to standard.
The engine provides noticable heat when driving, through the dash, and the gearstick also gets warm. Thankfully the air-con works to keep the driver cool.
The ride is surprisingly comfortable, but the ride-height is low. It only just gets up the sloped pavement to my driveway without touching the front spoiler. I will have to be careful when I approach speed bumps. The car fits in the garage far more easily than the Saab 9000 did. However, due to the location of the battery charging terminal, I need more access to the passenger side of the car which is close to the wall.
I have found my first niggles when testing the audio system, something we did not do at the garage…
– The passenger-side speaker appears to be shot. Bass is very distorted. The right speaker is fine.
– The CD changer in the boot is defunct. It is fitted and wired, but it is a Clarion unit not compatible with the Kenwood head unit which was fitted just over a year ago. I would much rather this CD changer had been removed rather than left as a defunct item in the boot.
I won’t listen to the radio much, but the above needs sorting.
A couple of pictures from when we collected the car are below.